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Vidant Health joins eight health care organizations across the country in two-year initiative to advance equity

April 05, 2017 by Beth Anne Atkins

GREENVILLE – Vidant Health is one of nine health care organizations that will partake in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) two- year initiative, Pursuing Equity. The goal is to reduce inequities in health and health care access, treatment and outcomes by implementing comprehensive strategies to create and sustain equitable health systems.

“Vidant Health is honored to be a part of this initiative which will allow us to work with other organizations across the country to ensure that individuals and communities can attain their full health potential,” said Dr. Michael Waldrum, CEO of Vidant Health. “We all bring different skill sets and experiences to the table which are instrumental in continuing this critical work.”

The organizations—diverse in size, geography and patient populations served—will work with IHI and learn from one another. The initiative hopes to break new ground by explicitly addressing institutional racism, and by identifying ways health care organizations can impact equity in areas like employee wellness and social determinants of health, in addition to reducing clinical disparities at the point of care.

Amy Reid, a director at IHI and lead of the Pursuing Equity initiative, stated, “No one sector holds the entire answer to health and well-being, but we each have an important role to play in our own sphere of influence. Health care can make an impact by providing equitable, high-quality and high-value care, and also through its role as an employer and partner in a community. Through Pursuing Equity, we are thrilled to work with nine organizations that are already demonstrating what’s possible when health equity becomes a strategic priority.”

Making health equity a strategic priority is one of five key recommendations recently laid out in the IHI White Paper, Achieving Health Equity: A Guide for Health Care Organizations. Other recommendations include developing structures and processes to support equity work, deploying scientific strategies to address the multiple determinants of health on which health care organizations can have a direct impact, decreasing institutional racism within the organization and developing partnerships with community organizations. To achieve these goals, each of the nine organizations taking part in Pursuing Equity will build on foundational work in their health systems, including promising programs to reduce clinical disparities, the ability to track equity in process and outcomes data and a high level of quality improvement knowledge and capability.

The nine organizations participating in Pursuing Equity are:

HealthPartners
Bloomington, Minnesota

Henry Ford Health System
Detroit, Michigan

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals
Oakland, California

Main Line Health
Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
Memphis, Tennessee

Northwest Colorado Health
Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Rush University Medical Center
Chicago, Illinois

Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Vidant Health
Greenville, North Carolina

IHI strives for a future free of health inequities, and is committing its tools, talents and team to this essential human pursuit. IHI aims to achieve health equity by working in collaboration with organizations, communities and individuals to accelerate the elimination of inequities in health care access, treatment and outcomes across our nation. More information and resources about Health Equity are available on IHI.org.

IHI’s Pursuing Equity initiative is made possible through funding by the Rx Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and the participating health systems.

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